Mo Morrison

Another pilot identified in the group pictures.

I found this on the Internet.

Flight Lieutenant R A Morrison

ROBERT A ‘MO’ MORRISON

‘Mo’ Morrison was the last of TB 752’s war-time pilots to be traced by the Lewis Deal.

There seemed to be some evidence that ‘Mo’ had been living and working at Toronto and accordingly all efforts to trace him were centred around Ontario Province, Canada.

Some 6 years of research brought little reward until one last attempt by the present 403 (CAF) Squadron in “Air Force” Magazine brought a reply from ‘Mo’ Morrison from Hamilton, Ontario. It was then discovered that he had been living in Berkshire, England for the last 38 years and had only returned to retire in Canada in March 1983.

‘Mo’ Morrison was educated to Matriculation standard (pre-University) at Delta Collegiate in Hamilton, Ontario in 1938, After leaving College he served in the Freight Office of the T.H. & B. Railway until September 1940. He enlisted on the 1st October 1940 at Hamilton and in the same month was sent to No 2 Manning Depot, Brandon, Manitoba.

During the October and November of that year he was at No 7 Central Navigation School, Rivere, Manitoba where he was an AC2 – on guard duty! By the November ‘Mo’ had progressed to No 2 I.T.S., Regina, Saskatchewan, but by February 1941 was flying Fleet Finches at No 10 EFTS, Mount Hope, Ontario. From the March to May of 1941, ‘Mo’ was flying Yales and Harvards at No 6 S.F.T.S., Dunnville, Ontario.

At the end of May, ‘Mo’ received his Wings and was promoted to Sergeant Pilot. Further promotion followed when he was made Pilot Officer in the June. At the end of that month he embarked overseas and spent his 20th birthday (4th July) in Iceland en route to England. Like other Canadian pilots who flew TB 752 ‘Mo’ eventually arrived at Bournemouth in mid-July. By the August he was at O.T.U. Heston, Middlesex flying Spitfires (Mk I and Ms).

‘M’ joined 411 Squadron (RCAF) at Digby, Lincolnshire and flew Spitfire Vs from the September until February 1942. He was then sent to RAF Hawkinge to join 277 Squadron (RAF) on Air-Sea Rescue duties flying Lysander, Defiant and Walrus aircraft. He reverted to Spitfires again when he joined 402 Squadron (RCAF) at Digby and he stayed with this Squadron until July 1944. From the July and to the September he was instructing on Spitfires and Hurricanes at the O.T.U. at Tealing near Dundee.

‘Mo’ resumed operational service with 403 Squadron (RCAF) in September 1944 (2nd Tactical Air Force) and in April 1945 he flew TB 752 with this Squadron. He ceased flying in May and was “demobbed” at Toronto in the September.

He resumed work with the Railways until January 1947 and then sold insurance for a year. Mo returned to England in March 1948 with his wife (whom he had married in England in 1942) and his son John – born in 1945. From 1948 to 1982 Mo pursued several occupations and held positions ranging from sales clerk to sales manager. His wife had 2 further children (Neil 1949 and Susan 1955). Mo returned to Canada in March 1983 to retire, which he is thoroughly enjoying.

Mo relates that he had one narrow escape when, flying with 3 other Spitfires from 403 Squadron over Germany his aircraft and that of Tommy Todd were both hit by flak. Todd was forced to bale out and became a P.O.W. Mo’s Spitfire was flying nose-heavy with the elevator trim-tab useless. He had to land the aircraft under power, which he did successfully. It later transpired that the oxygen bottle had been hit and the elevator trim control wires severed. Fortunately neither the elevator control wires or the rudder cables were cut — otherwise the story could have ended quite differently.

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